Empire to Nation: Historical Perspectives on the Making of the Modern World

Overview

The fall of empires and the rise of nation-states was a defining political transition in the making of the modern world. As United States imperialism becomes a popular focus of debate, we must understand how empire, the nineteenth century's dominant form of large-scale political organization, had disappeared by the end of the twentieth century. Here, ten prominent specialists discuss the empire-to-nation transition in comparative perspective. Chapters on Latin America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia, and...
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Empire to Nation: Historical Perspectives on the Making of the Modern World

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Overview

The fall of empires and the rise of nation-states was a defining political transition in the making of the modern world. As United States imperialism becomes a popular focus of debate, we must understand how empire, the nineteenth century's dominant form of large-scale political organization, had disappeared by the end of the twentieth century. Here, ten prominent specialists discuss the empire-to-nation transition in comparative perspective. Chapters on Latin America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia, and China illustrate both the common features and the diversity of the transition. Questioning the sharpness of the break implied by the empire/nation binary, the contributors explore the many ways in which empires were often nation-like and nations behaved imperially. While previous studies have focused on the rise and fall of empires or on nationalism and the process of nation-building, this intriguing volume concentrates on the empire-to-nation transition itself. Understanding this transition allows us to better interpret the contemporary political order and new forms of global hegemony.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
This unique collection of essays examines the transition from empire to nation-state in the Spanish, Ottoman, Habsburg, Chinese, and Russian empires. . . . Those seeking better resources for teaching world history will be highly pleased with this anthology. Recommended.
Daniel Chirot
As this excellent collection shows, imperial collapses in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Europe (including the dissolution of the Soviet Union), Latin America, the Middle East, and East Asia have often left conflict-ridden legacies. Anyone interested in the forces that have shaped much of the modern world, and in many of today's major foreign policy issues, should read this book.
Ronald Grigor Suny
As the sun appears to set on empire, the authors in this valuable collection explore how imperial realms were imagined and why nation-states ultimately succeeded them. Rather than being an inevitable process, the end of empire took a variety of forms in Latin America, the Middle East, and the Soviet Union. It still persists elsewhere and may have an unpredicted future. For students of nationalism and its opponents, this book is a must-read.
Kemal Karpat
In a positive revisionist analysis of the formation, growth, structure, and decline of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century empires (Ottoman, Habsburg, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian-Soviet), the authors of this original book prove that various ethnic, religious, and political features of these empires survived in the nation states that replaced them. Empire to Nation offers new perspectives for understanding the political phenomena of empires, nation-states, and nationalism in the era of globalization.
CHOICE
This unique collection of essays examines the transition from empire to nation-state in the Spanish, Ottoman, Habsburg, Chinese, and Russian empires. . . . Those seeking better resources for teaching world history will be highly pleased with this anthology. Recommended.
Peter Stearns
This book gets at one of the most intriguing and debatable processes in modern world history, the collapse of what we now call multinational empires and their replacement by different, usually smaller and often more contentious, states. The examples are chosen with wide geographical range, and the resulting comparisons are fascinating.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742540309
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Series: World Social Change Series
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph W. Esherick is professor of history and Hwei-Chih and Julia Hsiu Chair in Chinese Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Hasan Kayali is associate professor of history at the University of California, San Diego. Eric Van Young is professor of history at the University of California, San Diego.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part I: The Spanish Empire in the Americas Chapter 3 The Limits of Atlantic-World Nationalism in a Revolutionary Age: Imagined Communities and Lived Communities in Mexico, 1810-1821 Chapter 4 The Great Transformation of Law and Legal Culture: "The Public" and "the Private" in the Transition from Empire to Nation in Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil, 1750-1850 Chapter 5 Selfhood and Nationhood in Latin America: From Colonial Subject to Democratic Citizen Part 6 Part II: The Middle East and Eastern Europe Chapter 7 Empires as Prisons of Nations versus Empires as Political Opportunity Structures: An Exploration of the Role of Nationalism in Imperial Dissolutions in Europe Chapter 8 Changing Modalities of Empire: A Comparative Study of the Ottoman and Habsburg Decline Chapter 9 Dreams of Empire, Dreams of Nations Part 10 Part III: The Chinese Empire Chapter 11 How the Qing Became China Chapter 12 Going Imperial: Tibeto-Mongolian Buddhism and Nationalisms in China and Inner Asia Part 13 Part IV: The Russian Empire and the Soviet Union Chapter 14 The Long Road from Empire: Legacies of Nation-Building in the Soviet Successor States Chapter 15 Setting the Political Agenda:Cultural Discourse in the Estonian Transition Part 16 Afterword: The Return of Empire?
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